Baltimore Dining Guide
The conference hotel is on the western edge of Harbor East (home to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History). It is a short walk to Fell’s Point, Little Italy, and Inner Harbor. To get to Federal Hill (home of the American Visionary Art Museum, Museum of Industry, Cross Street Market, and Fort McHenry—near where Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner”), you can take a water taxi ride, cab, bus, or walk (but it is a healthy walk). To get to Mount Vernon (home to the Walters Art Museum, the Peabody Library, the Enoch Pratt Library, and the Basilica – the oldest Catholic Cathedral in the US, and the Enoch Pratt Library), you can take a cab, bus, or walk (again, a very healthy walk).
There are other places that serve crabs, but these three are the best. They are all walkable on a nice day (Captain James is the closest), but they are a healthy walk, or you could take a cab or a water taxi to any one of them.
BO BROOKS CRABHOUSE AND RESTAURANT
2701 Boston St., 410-558-0202. GOOD: A Baltimore institution for steamed crabs. Located in Canton, the neighborhood beyond Fell’s Point. Has its own water taxi stop—you can eat on their dock! LD daily $$$
CAPTAIN JAMES CRAB HOUSE
2127 Boston St., 410-327-8600. VERY GOOD: Steamed hard-shell crabs. Located at the far edge of Fell’s Point. You can eat on their dock! $$$ LD daily to 1 am
1100 E Fort Ave., 410—576-9294. Seafood and crabs year round. Located in at the far edge of Federal Hill. LD daily $$
Inner Harbor East
Formerly old industrial area skirting the projects, now upscale housing, dining, shopping. For a special little treat, stop at Glarus Chocolatier.
1006 Fleet St., 410-605-0444. Creative pizza, sandwiches, salads. LD daily $
1000 Lancaster St., 410-332-7373. Southern-accented New American from Chef Cindy Wolf. Award-winning wine list. L T-F, D M-S $$$$
608 S. Exeter St. #105, 410-752-9666. Sushi + Japanese. LD daily. $$
CINGHIALE OSTERIA (the restaurant side)
822 Lancaster St., 410-547-8282. Italian cuisine. L M-F, D M-Sa $$$$
CINGHIALE ENOTECA (wine bar)
822 Lancaster St., 410-547-8282. Italian cuisine. D M-Sa $$$-$$$$
720 Aliceanna. Prime meat, fish, poultry in elegant setting. Note: They have a daily happy hour “5 for 6 til 7”: five LARGE appetizers plus a fantastic hamburger, 5 wines, 5 cocktails for $6 each from 5-7 pm. Really good, but it gets crowded fast and you have to eat in the bar area. D daily $$$$
HARBOR EAST DELI AND PIZZERIA
1006 Aliceanna, 410-244-6156. Sandwiches, salads, soups and pizza. LD daily $$
JAMES JOYCE IRISH PUB
616 S. President St., 410-727-5107. Lively, friendly pub, loud. LD daily, BR Sa-Su $$
719 S. President St., 410-244-5533. Sophisticated Lebanese; mezzas are best. LD daily $$
801 Aliceanna St., 443-872-0000. Upscale seafood and retro supper club D daily $$$$
1425 Aliceanna St., 410-534-7296. Upscale tapas , business casual, and make reservations. D daily, open late $$-$$$
1390 Lancaster St., 410-522-3200. Sushi, pan Asian. L, D daily. $$ VERY GOOD, very creative. Loud by 5:30 pm. Happy Hour daily. Sunday Happy Hour starts at 8 pm.
720B Aliceanna SI., 410-659-0099. Roy Yamaguchi's Hawaiian fusion D daily. $$$ VERY GOOD. It now has a happy hour which is quite reasonable, and very good, but you have to eat in the bar area.
Exeter St next to Whole Foods. Friday night’s happy hour consists of a free buffet when you buy two drinks. L D daily. $-$$ Try the shrimp taco!
615 Presidents Street, 410-528-9883. VERY GOOD: Nuevo Latino Bistro where you can feast on fresh, healthy tapas while sipping on island cocktails, great ceviche. $$
507 S. Exeter Street, 410-528-8600. Changing seasonal menu. VERY GOOD, except for the burger which is very dry. For lunch you can probably walk in. For dinner you will want a reservation, unless you want to sit at the bar. Wonderful wine list. LD daily $$-$$$
600 S. Exeter St. In addition to groceries, you can get breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They have some seating indoors and outdoors.
306 S. High St., 410-727-0700. Regional Italian. Cheese cave. D daily $$$$
410 S. High St., 410-685-6727. Family recipes. Colorful Italian bistro. Best eggplant parmesan ever! LD daily $$
237 S. High St., 410-837-0309. Neopolitan favorites at a Baltimore institution. LD daily $$$
300 S. High St., 410-752-4515. Tuscan favorites (also has cabaret shows, call for schedule.) LD daily $$.
MAX’S EMPANADAS 313 S High St., 410-547-7900. Argentine empanadas and desserts. A little hole in the wall of a place, but the empanadas are fantastic. LD M-Sa $
901 Fawn St., 410-727-9414. Traditional food and genial service make it a perennial favorite and a Baltimore institution. LD daily (until 3 am F-Sa) $$
829 E. Pratt St., 410-685-2620. Another Baltimore institution, and one of the oldest restaurants in the neighborhood. LD daily, BR Sa-Su. $$
A mere 6 blocks east of the conference hotel, this was the heart of the old port and the beginning of Colonial Baltimore. Now it’s home to an eclectic collection of taverns, pubs, boutiques, restaurants, market, art galleries. It was the set for Homicide and try to find Meg Ryan’s house from Sleepless in Seattle. the neighborhood is a magnet on weekends for college kids. In the 1800, the British called it a “den of pirates”; we call it home to the privateers who fought off the British during the War of 1812. If you have a little time to wander around, this is the place to go! Most of the pubs have really good kitchens and there are lots of cool little shops to wander in and out of. Many of the businesses claim to be haunted by friendly ghosts. Lots of the pubs have live music on weekends and outdoor seating on nice days. The absolute best 360-degree view of Baltimore is from the pier at the end of S. Caroline Street!
710-712 S. Broadway, 410-522-0000. Creative American cuisine with $1 drafts whenever it rains. LD daily, BR Sa-Su $$
ANNABEL LEE TAVERN
601 S. Clinton St., 410-522-2929. Edgar Allan Poe's spirit is kept alive in this neighborhood tavern with nightly specials. D M-Sa. $$
734 S. Broadway, 410-327-5795. Mussels in myriad ways, seafood; afternoon tea by reservation. Located in historic building. Live music. LD daily, BR Su $$
814 S. Bond St., 410-276-7141. VERY GOOD: Greek taverna specializing in impeccably fresh grilled fish, plus specialty lamb and vegetarian dishes. Try their stuffed calamari. LD daily $$$$
BLACK OLIVE MARKET
803 S Caroline St., 410-276-7142. VERY GOOD: Fresh baked scones, breads, pastries, personal-sized pizzas, sandwiches, cheese, wines. 7 am – 7 pm BL daily $$
903 S Ann St., 410-342-4000. Fresh-baked breads and French pastries, sandwiches. BL daily $$
722 S. Broadway, 410-342-4222. Iconic hangout for Baltimore's sports culture; pub grub. LD daily $$
801 S. Broadway, 410-327-3273. A favorite of politicos for taking the public pulse. Step back in time to a 1950s diner—good basic food. BLD daily. $ Opens at 5:30 am. Breakfast served all day.
JOHN STEVENS LTD
1800 Thames St., 410-327-3273. GOOD: Seafood bar/restaurant. LD daily $$
1606 Thames St 410-276-4700. Mediterranean fare in an elegant setting. Grilled whole fish, lamb. D daily $$$
1702 Thames St., 410-563-5423. Second-floor waterfront view; American fare and bar food, extensive wine list. Terrific burgers. LD daily, BR Su $$ (NOTE: They also have a Burger Wagon truck. If you see it, grab a burger!)
1626 Aliceanna St., 410-276-6606. Juice bar deluxe, plus vegetarian and vegan sandwiches. BLD daily $
MAX’S ON BROADWAY
737 S. Broadway, 410-675-6297. Pub grub and one of the best beer selections around. LD daily $$
MELI PATISSERIE & BISTRO 1636 Thames St., 410-534-6354. Mediterranean. Jazz on weekends. LD daily $$
1606 Thames St., 410-563-7600. Mediterranean tapas. L Su, D daily. $$
708 S Bond St. VERY GOOD: World’s first and largest Grand Marnier Club—and consistently good and extensive kitchen and a nice little hidden patio. It’s the local “Cheers!” (Part of the fun is listening to the waiters run through the specials.) LD daily. BR Sa-Su $$
504 S. Ann St 410-675-7313 VERY GOOD: Tiny pub offers a rotating menu of world food, written on a chalkboard. Limited seating. D T-Sa $$
1822 Aliceanna St., 410-675-2080. VERY GOOD: Chef Nancy Longo (chef to Barry Levinson and Homicide) breaks the rules: smoked Maryland crab cakes, barbecued New York duck eggrolls. L T-F, D T-Su, Su BR-L by reservation only. $$$
802 S Broadway, 410-702-5828 REALLY GOOD GELATO!! Open daily $
811 S. Broadway, 410-522-3663. GOOD: Pan-Asian tapas, sushi, soup, and entrees. LD daily $$
1700 Thames St., 410-563-6600. Pub grub and traditional Irish fare, including their Irish Breakfast. BLD daily $$
1634 Aliceanna, 443-682-8243. GOOD: Sushi bar, mix of American and Pan-Asian entrees. LD daily $$
809 S. Broadway, 410-327-0228. Hot dogs and sausages—and fried Oreo cookies. No seating, but there are benches on Broadway Square. LD daily $
814 S Broadway, 410-534-6262. Spanish tapas. D daily $$
700 S. Broadway, 410-537-5005. Consistently good pub grub. Nice brunch on Sundays. LD daily, BR Su $
V-NO WINE BAR
905 S Ann St., 410-342-8466. Beautiful setting for grabbing a glass of nice wine. Cheese and charcuterie. Th-F 11:30am-11pm, Su 11:30-6 pm $
Harborplace is the cornerstone of the Inner Harbor of Baltimore. Since its opening in the 1970s, it has transformed a once-blighted industrial area of Baltimore into a favorite vacation destination/tourist area. It is home to the USS Constellation, the Maryland Science Center, and the National Aquarium. Unless otherwise stated, it is an easy walk. Restaurants tend to have longer waits—I’ve listed the best ones.
In Pratt St Pavilion, 410-234-3990. Chain. Huge menu, more than 40 desserts. LD daily, BR Su $$
FOGO DE CHÃO
600 E Pratt St., Suite 102, 410-528-9292. Brazilian steakhouse featuring seasoned meats, gaucho chefs, and prix fixe menu. LD daily $$$$
HARD ROCK CAFE BALTIMORE
601 E. Pratt St, 410-347-7625. Casual American favorites—burgers, BBQ,fajitas—amidst rock 'n' roll memorabilia. LD daily. $$
MISS SHIRLEY’S CAFÉ
750 E Pratt St. 410-528-5373 Upscale diner food. B L daily $$ GOOD.
B&O AMERICAN BRASSERIE
2 N Charles St., 410-547-6925 (a little northwest of the Inner Harbor, walkable or a short cab ride) VERY GOOD: Regional American foods with a playful twist in a Beaux Arts building (originally the B&O Main Office building). Large selection of small plates, charcuterie, cheeses, etc. BLD daily $$-$$$
This neighborhood is anchored by Federal Hill Park and the Cross Street Market. The park has been maintained since the end of the Civil War, when the Union Army cannons were aimed at the city to "keep it in line." It offers the best views of the city, and a great workout for motivated runners and step climbers.
ABBEY BURGER BISTRO
1041 Marshall St., 443-453-9698. Burgers in a variety of styles. L T-Su, D daily $$
1500 S Hanover St.,410-244-5101. VERY GOOD: Fine dining in a casual setting. L Th-Su, D T-Su $$
1026 S. Charles St., 410-752-3810. VERY GOOD: Uses local ingredients and artisanal cheeses/wine list paired with a New American menu. D T-Su $$-$$$
ILLUSIONS MAGIC BAR
1025 S Charles St., 410-727-5811. Drinks only—oh, and fun magic shows. $$
1325 Key Hwy., 410-837-9903. Cuban inspired fare; tables ring a lively bar. L F-Su, D daily, BR Su. $$
MOTHER'S FEDERAL HILL GRILLE
1113 S. Charles St., 410-244-8686. Pub grub and Seafood. BR Sa-Su, L, D daily. $$ Sports Bar
MR. RAIN’S FUN HOUSE
800 Key Highway (top floor of Visionary Arts Museum), 410-244-1900. VERY GOOD: Comfort food with international influences. L T-F, D T-Sa BR Sa-Su $$
NO WAY JOSE CAFE
38 E. Cross St., 410-752-2837.Tex-Mex; fresh salsas, fajitas, pulled pork. LD daily $
1002 Light St., 410-539-7344. Neighborhood bistro; eclectic menu. LD daily, BR Sa-Su $$
402 Key Hwy., 410-727-3678. Spectacular view of the Inner Harbor. L M-Sa, D daily, BR Su. Live jazz 9 p.m-midnight F/S $$$. Great view.
THE WINE MARKET
921 E. Fort Ave., 410-244-6166. VERY GOOD: Wine bar and bistro in reclaimed foundry. Water taxi or short cab ride. L T-F, D daily, BR S. $$
This is home to some of the most beautiful 19th-century townhouses in the country, and originally outside the city limits. With the distinctive Washington Monument as the centerpiece of the district, it is easy to find. If you have some free time, visit the Peabody Library, the Basilica (the first Roman Catholic cathedral in the United States—fully restored), the Walters Art Museum (open to all at no cost), and the Maryland Historical Society. The area is a short cab ride or a long walk—cab ride or Circulator ride after dark.
1106 N. Charles St., 410-547-6925 VERY GOOD: Upstairs there is a dining room with an eclectic menu. $$$ Downstairs is high-end pub grub. $$ State-of-the-art beers throughout. D daily.
1100 Maryland Av., 410-385-0318. GOOD: Casual Ethiopian. (nothing much to see nearby). LD daily $
806 N. Charles St., 410-752-0311. GOOD: State-of·the-art Afghan. Try kaddo borawni (spiced pumpkin mash) or mantwo (stuffed pastry with yogurt sauce). The owner’s brother is Afghanistan’s President Karzai. D daily $
1 E. Chase St., 410-347-0888. A brass-rail bar, the famous owls, and a fun crowd. Full menu includes brick-oven pizza, fajitas. Famous old hotel—now condos. LD daily, BR Su $$$
AND CHECK OUT OUR NEW CIRCULATOR BUS—IT’S FREE!!!! The Orange Line can take you between your conference area and Inner Harbor, Harbor East and Little Italy. The Purple Line can take you to Mt. Vernon and Federal Hill. http://www.charmcitycirculator.com/